Josh McCown ends retirement, returns to NFL

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For the second time this year, a former NFL player is leaving ESPN to return to the NFL.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports (announces) that Josh McCown of ESPN is now Josh McCown of the Eagles. McCown joins Cowboys tight end Jason Witten as football players turned ESPN analysts turned football players.

McCown, who plans to resume his broadcasting career after the season, joins a depth chart that has been reduced through two preseason games from four healthy players to two: Carson Wentz and Thurston Howell III Clayton Thorson.

The Eagles had planned to add no quarterbacks after losing primary backup Nate Sudfeld to a broken wrist. With Cody Kessler now in the concussion protocol, the Eagles needed someone else.

Schefter’s announcement creates the impression that McCown will be with the Eagles all year long. There’s a chance, however, he won’t make the 53-man roster — especially if his one-year deal isn’t guaranteed at signing. Indeed, eight years ago to the day, he signed with the 49ers; two weeks later, he was released.

McCown entered the NFL in 2002 with the Cardinals. He has played for Arizona, Detroit, Oakland, Carolina, the Hartford Colonials, San Francisco (briefly), Chicago, Tampa Bay, Cleveland, the New York Jets, and now Philadelphia. That’s more than 25 percent of the entire NFL, and exactly one fourth of the long-defunct UFL.

Meanwhile, Colin Kaepernick’s phone still isn’t ringing, 10 years to the month after the Eagles gave a second chance to a convicted felon who spent nearly two years in prison for running a dogfighting operation.

41 responses to “Josh McCown ends retirement, returns to NFL

  1. Again with kaepernick. He’s not a good player that set his demands too high. Jeffrey Lurie is a progressive guy who wouldn’t have a problem signing a controversial player (see vick) but kaps demands have been to high for what he is, not a very good QB in the NFL. I’m sure McCown is a cheap signing in comparison

  2. Difference between Vick and Kap. Is that Vick knew he was coming in as a backup to McNabb. No questions. Kap has stated he wants to play for a team where he can compete for the starting job. Wentz is the starter. End of story.

  3. I guess it was too late to get Foles back. But Wentz is gonna be ok isn’t he – isn’t he??

  4. Kaepernick isn’t getting a call because why would a team want a backup QB they have to change their offense dramatically for? He’s just not that valuable because of his limitations in certain areas demanding a particular style of offense, and certainly not good enough to be the starter anywhere (see: getting replaced by Blaine Gabbert, on more than one occasion).

    The team that would most fit him (Baltimore) probably aren’t going to have much interest after his partner publicly attacked the owner. Indeed, they just drafted their QB3 in Trace McSorley.

  5. People rag on Josh but you don’t make a 15 year NFL career being a bum. He’s never been “the guy”, just a journeyman plug that steps into dumpster fires and plays adequately, without any shame or glory. Probably also the nicest guy in the room and a the best teammate/ professional a coach can ask for. Get your money Josh, you’ve earned it.

  6. Lol about Kaepernick! He’s not currently in the NFL and won’t ever be again. It’s hilarious how his name keeps getting mentioned here, might as well talk about Brett Favre coming back too!

  7. No one, who knows a thing about football, is clamouring for Kaep to come back. Literally no one.

    He wants to be a starter. He’s not good enough to be a starter for at least two thirds of the teams. And most of the remaining third think they may have their guy. And the two teams that could desperately use a starter – Miami and Washington – are not bringing in the pro-Castro, social justice warrior. As is their right to do so.

  8. Why always bring up Kaepernick?

    Life is full of choices. CK made his and teams make theirs.

    Let it go.

  9. Well, that didn’t last long! McCown will give Philly a very solid veteran backup and a great pro presence.

  10. …what I want to know is. How many times will the usual suspects change the Kaep blackball narrative?

  11. I like McCown, but this is like Hasselbeck in Indy. Not a good signing, because the starter is too injury prone.

    Should go after a career backup that is younger like Chase Daniel.

  12. To be fair, dog fighting operations aren’t simple things one just pulls off. At the start it is small and poorly thought out for sure. Unfortunately you have to inevitably do planning and managing, concepts an NFL QB actually needs to be experienced at. NFL QBs don’t just throw balls at rando at this level.

    It may not have been a legal operation, but to completely ignore it’s requirements and how you can actually apply those same variables to an NFL QB gig is naive. No need to single out the Eagles over the past, just to bring up Colin’s unemployment.

  13. Very smart player, functional QB, terrific in the QB room and can teach Wentz a few things. Best option out there for a backup. Interesting to see if Wentz gets injured and Sudfeld is healthy which of those comes in the game.

  14. I guess Jay Cutler is spending too much time on his wife’s reality show to consider coming back again.

  15. A lot comments talk about kapernick’s demands. This seems to be a relatively new talking point and I’m unsure of its origin. The only reports I saw were about the AFL. Last time he tried out for an NFL team, to my knowledge, was 2017 when he had a scheduled workout with Seattle to potentially be the backup to Wilson. The workout was cancelled the night before because he would not agree to stop protesting. It said nothing of contract demands or need to be a starter. Maybe I missed something but seems to me like this narrative is based on rumor more than explicit demands.

  16. This injury prone thing on Wentz is funny. 2 years in a row and people act like it’s been 3 or 4 in a row. Freaking relax you followers.

  17. Josh wants a ring , Philly needs a pro backup , welcome to Philly home of the world champions

  18. Justin Morris says:
    August 17, 2019 at 1:40 pm
    This injury prone thing on Wentz is funny. 2 years in a row and people act like it’s been 3 or 4 in a row. Freaking relax you followers.

    Because it has been 3 years in a row, in 2015 he broke a bone in his wrist that required surgery and sidelined him for 8 weeks, it was college, but it was an injury; 2016 hairline fracture to his ribs, played 16 games, but it was an injury; 2017 tore up his knee; 2018 his back. The knee and the back at his age, coupled with his playing style could cause chaos, but who’s worried, McCown signed for a chance at a ring, but it will be the ring of residual South Philly around his mouth from a cheese with from the King of Steaks.

  19. Justin Morris says:
    August 17, 2019 at 1:40 pm
    This injury prone thing on Wentz is funny. 2 years in a row and people act like it’s been 3 or 4 in a row. Freaking relax you followers.


    You couldn’t be more right. The injury last year was a result of rushing him back too soon because of Foles poor play. Garropolo has been hurt just as much and also received a huge contract but notice we never hear anything about him. People are sheep and recycle garbage they hear without actually doing any research, but I guess that’s our society now.

  20. Haha haha!
    You poor Kaep lovers.
    So sour, so sad.
    Throw Hilary in there again too, wouldya?
    Just to be consistent with your “we got robbed!” narrative.
    Haha haha!

  21. Pmlangan- yup, exactly, that’s how it is in trump-world. People (in this case) who hate the eagles just regurgitate the first thing they read because it fits their narrative/hopes that wentz will get hurt. First of all, if you root for anyone to get hurt, you’re a low life. For teams I don’t like, I root for their players to stink but NEVER for those players to get hurt- these guys are people first. Secondly, injury prone doesn’t apply when you’re talking about broken bones, everyone that gets hit regularly is injury prone when it comes to something like that. If wentz, for example, were to tear something this upcoming year in a non-context situation, then okay, it’s fair to start that label. It’s also fair to say his style of play is high risk for injuries if he continues to hold the ball & take unnecessary hits but that’s yet to be seen. Most likely the people clamoring for wentz to get hurt are pathetic cowboy fans not from Dallas & probably have never even been to Dallas, NYG or Washington fans because their teams suck and have nothing else to root for

  22. Yes, no brainer decision for Lurie to hire Kaep. That will go over great in that blue collar town…no distraction or fan backlash or headaches at all. Esp after last week’s situationw with the maniac who tried to take on the Philly PD. Kaep can praise that crazed attempted cop killer, blame the system and demonize the cops all in the same breath. Shocked they havent called him yet.

  23. thelinestartsheretokissmyass says:
    August 17, 2019 at 6:49 pm
    Two things: Kap will never play in the NFL again. Hillary will never be President. Period. Just deal with it and move on.


    Thank Goodness for both of those things!! You made my day for reminding us of those wonderful facts!!!!! Yipppppeeeeeee!!

  24. If we are talking about ideology, the Eagles as an organization have been shown to stand by their players voicing their opinions on various current events, so I don’t think CK’s “protesting” would be too big of an issue regarding their consideration to add him to the roster. Josh McCown is a savvy veteran who’s seen it all, and CK just doesn’t appear to have the versatility and skill set that most teams are looking for. There may have been some truth to teams avoiding him when the protests first became a thing, but there are enough teams out there with coaches on the hot seat that are desperate to find an edge that would add a player like CK in heartbeat if they thought it would get them over the hump to become a winning team.

  25. I head a Chicago sports talk guy railing they should have signed Kaepernik. First of all, McCown has seen every offense in the league. Kaepernik would be a great option – if the team were running the Single Wing. Great runner, and strong arm, but last I time I saw him he’d be great throwing grounders for infield practice.
    I admire what he tried to do, but he should have made the point and moved on – WHATEVER SKILL HE HAD AS A QB WENT TO HELL IN THE PROCESS.

  26. Meanwhile, Colin Kaepernick’s phone still isn’t ringing, 10 years to the month after the Eagles gave a second chance to a convicted felon who spent nearly two years in prison for running a dogfighting operation.


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